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How To Maximize Small Outdoor Spaces

Jun 03, 2023

A small outdoor patio space decorated with furniture and plants

Do you love spending time in your outdoor space, but wish you could do more with a small yard or patio? Don't despair! Working with a limited space can indeed be challenging, but there are a variety of both practical and creative ways you can make every inch count. With a little effort and some simple design tricks used in larger outdoor spaces up your sleeve, you can turn your yard or patio into a beautiful and functional extension of your home.    We checked with the experts to bring you a few effective ideas to maximize your space, no matter how minimal. Here are our favorites!

Scale Down Furniture   When you shop for outdoor furniture pieces that will fit and accommodate your small space, it’s important to scale to the size of the area. Look for compact furniture like foldable chairs, stackable stools or a bistro dining set. Even better, find collapsible seating that you can store away when not in use. Multifunctional furniture pieces such as storage benches, ottomans or deck boxes are great ways to both add seating and stow cushions, gardening tools and other outdoor essentials out of the way — freeing up the space around your outdoor happy place.

You can also arrange your furniture in different layouts to help create a better flow in the space you are working with. For instance, replace a patio sofa with chairs (especially chairs with wheels) that are easier to reconfigure as needed. You may need to use fewer pieces of furniture than you’d like, but not crowding the area will allow you to more easily fit the rest of your furniture within the space. 

  Put Vertical Space to Use  If you’re short on floor space because you’re in a townhome or condo, don’t forget the vertical space you have available! Utilizing the vertical can instantly add more area for decor as well as some much-needed privacy.  

In a small backyard or on a balcony, adding a pallet fence or a succulent wall is a great option to create feng shui during your morning coffee. Install hooks or racks on walls or fences to hang gardening tools, hoses or even bicycles so they’re not on the ground. Make use of underutilized nooks by installing shelving units or small cabinets in corners or gaps between structures. By taking advantage of these often overlooked areas, you can optimize storage capacity and keep your outdoor space tidy. 

Speaking of plants …  

 Get Creative with a Small Garden   Just because you have a small space doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dream of a beautiful garden! Just choose small, compact plants and flower pots (even interestingly shaped plant pots or plant bases) that won't take up too much room and will allow you to rearrange them as many times as you would like. Hang plants from the walls or ceiling — or for something truly and visually stunning, install a vertical garden that incorporates different levels or raised planters to add the illusion of more space.  

You can also grow herbs, vegetables and even small trees in containers as well! Let your green thumb go wild even when your garden footprint is limited. Plus, it’s a great way to add color, texture, air quality and life to your yard or patio.  

Add an Outdoor Rug  One of the many struggles when decorating an outdoor space is adding color. You want enough to brighten but not too much, since you’re already working with the natural elements in the space. Outdoor rug to rescue, providing a pop of color and pattern without taking up any space at all. Use a large one or two smaller ones (if you have the room) to help define the different areas of your space. Pro Tip: Remember to shop for a rug specifically designed for the outdoors (i.e., weatherproof).

    Brighten the Space with Interesting Lighting    The right lighting can help brighten up and make your small outdoor space extra cozy, especially when entertaining. Consider string lights, lanterns or solar-powered fixtures to create ambiance and extend the usability of your outdoor space.   

Conversely, if you wish for a little more shade in your small backyard, consider adding a pergola to protect you from the sun (and again, add a little privacy). You can also use the pergola to hang plants for a natural canopy or string those lights and fixtures! 

Relax, Acima Has Your Back (Patio)  

Bottom line: Don't be afraid to experiment! There are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to decorating a small outdoor space. The most important thing is to create a place that you enjoy spending time in. Also, it creates the perfect excuse to go shopping for cute furniture and decorative pieces that enhance the space with your personal style stamp.    Acima Leasing knows a thing or two about maximizing small things. We can help you get the items you’re seeking from your favorite retailers, even if your budget is as small as your backyard. Using Acima Leasing’s lease-to-own solutions* you can create a cozy outdoor space!